The biggest utility in Hawaii, the Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO), will source all of its electric generation from renewable sources by 2045—of not sooner. The utility, which previously announced its plans to go 100 percent renewable, received approval from the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to make the transition.
"We appreciate the commission's acceptance of our plan and its guidance for moving forward," said Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric president and CEO. "As the commission noted, thoughtful input from the participants was a key to developing a successful plan and we will continue to work with everyone in our community as we implement it."
The commission approved HECO’s Power Supply Improvement Plan Update on July 14, making it likely the quickest utility to transition from dirty to 100 percent renewable energy. The transition will occur across all of HECO’s Hawaiian utilities: Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light.
"After review, commission has reasonable assurance that many of the actions identified…are credible, supported by sound judgment and analysis, informed by stakeholder input and consistent with state energy policy and prior commission orders," the commission stated.
Earlier this year HECO announced that its efforts to make the transition would include bringing at least 110 megawatts of utility-scale solar online in 2019. But overall, the company plans to add nearly 400 megawatts of new renewable energy by 2021. It’s also including more than doubling the amount of rooftop solar it has in its service territories, growing it from 79,000 rooftops now to 165,000 private systems by 2030.
Already HECO is providing 17 percent of all its electricity for of its customers from solar power, the utility said. It added that the national average for utilities is just 1 percent, HECO added.
Looking ahead, the company plans to meet a number of renewable energy milestones to exceed state requirements. By the end of 2020 it plans to source 48 percent of its energy from renewables while the state requires 30 percent. By the end of 2030 it will source 72 percent of its energy from renewables while the state requires 40 percent and it aims to source all it energy from renewables by the end of 2040 while the state will require utilities to meet that goal by 2045.Tweet